The title

Tag: SME

Why The Man With The Van Is Redundant

It is an inescapable reality that most businesses rely heavily on technology, and of the many challenges facing the small business owner many of these relate to IT – issues such as “Who manages your IT?  and How do you deal with IT support and maintenance?

A multi-national corporation with over 1,000 employees has the budget to hire its own IT team. But what about smaller companies? The ongoing problem for the small business owner is how to get effective, cost-efficient support for their technology platform. Many treat IT support and maintenance in the same way as dealing with car maintenance – for example: a printer isn’t working/a tire is flat so call the IT support guy/garage.

The “man with the van” may provide a solution to the immediate problem, but that is ALL he does because his service is reactive.

If your business is reliant on IT please consider the following critical questions:


[1] How long can your business survive without key data?

 

How long would your business last if you experienced a hard drive failure? Imagine losing important customer files and trying to explain to your clients how this happened. If your immediate response to this question is to say: “But we back up our data regularly!” –  sure you may have a back up strategy but do you regularly test your strategy to ensure that you are 100% sure you are able to recover your data in the event of a major disaster or loss.

Statistics show that 60% of backups are incomplete, and 50% of restores failed.


[2] How do you protect the “crown jewels” of your business?

 

How do you protect commercially sensitive data? How do you protect client data held on your computers?

Do you realise that every third party who has access to your IT systems potentially has access to all of your secrets?

What level of security assessment do you undertake on any third-party you bring into your company to undertake IT support and maintenance?


[3] Are you maximising your ROI in your IT assets?

 

  1. Are your computers up-to-date for necessary patches, security issues and updates?
  2. Do you know the exact the locations, counts and disposition of all of your IT assets?
  3. How do you know which of your hardware and software needs updating, upgrading or replacing?
  4. Are you over-licensed on software and thus wasting money?
  5. How do you know that you are getting your money’s worth from independent consultants and vendors?

The Solution

 

The fundamental issue with the traditional “man with the van” approach to IT support and maintenance is that it is reactive.

The solution is to employ an approach and a methodology that anticipates potential problems BEFORE they become an issue and that implements an automated solution in the background.

This solution is provided by partnering with an IT management and support service who provide a Remote Management and Monitoring [RMM] service incorporating a proprietary technology that:

  • Detects problems and identifies potential hazards before they ever impact your company.
  • Provides 24/7 real-time systems status monitoring updates every five minutes.
  • Provides continual updates regarding the state of hardware and software, including logs, performance metrics, patches, antivirus and more.
  • Is continually watching for unusual events, and many of these have fully automated responses.

This proactive solution is the complete reverse of the usual approach of acting AFTER a problem occurs.

This results in a significant increase in productivity, as problems are rectified in the background, without interrupting users, and before they escalate and become a major issue.

Whilst the technology that provides this service is complex and sophisticated, the connection of your business to this service is incredibly simple involving no more than 3 clicks of a mouse!

PASR Technologies provide this service and we would be delighted to speak with you to understand  your issues and to explain more about how your business could benefit from this solution.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!

 

 


How Do You Protect Your “Crown Jewels”?

We have worked with business owners and senior management of organizations with less that 200 staff for over 20 years.

We continually see the same recurring issues when it comes to IT management in SMEs.

One of issue that we find quite disturbing is the cavalier attitude so many small business owners take with regard to the security of their IT assets.

This is especially significant with regard to security of their own data and even more critically the security of their clients’ data that is held on their systems.

A recent survey quoted a senior manager in a professional services firm as saying:

“At the moment internally we don’t really have much [internal] security. Our systems are open; Just about everyone in the office can actually look at anything in the system.”


The issues

 

  • Threats to IT information assets come from many sources – malware, hardware failure, hacking, employee mistake and deliberate sabotage. How do you know that you are protected?
  • How do you ensure that you have current and continual protection across all fronts to ensure your data is not lost or compromised?
  • How do you ensure that organisational information assets are NOT stored on only one key staff member’s laptop, but are stored centrally for all users to access, AND properly backed up and recoverable?

Critical Questions

 

  • How long can your business survive without key data?

Imagine losing important customer files and trying to explain to your clients how this happened. If your immediate response to this question is to say: “But we back up our data regularly!” –  sure you may have a back up strategy but do you regularly test your strategy to ensure that you are 100% sure you are able to recover your data in the event of a major disaster or loss? [Statistics show that 60% of backups are incomplete, and 50% of restores failed.]

  • How do you protect your commercially sensitive data?
  • How do you protect client data held on your computers?
  • What level of security assessment do you undertake on any third-party you bring into your company to undertake IT support and maintenance?

You do realise that every third party who has access to your IT systems potentially has access to all of your secrets?


The Business Impacts and Your Exposures

 

Unless you can answer each of these questions you and your business are at considerable, and potentially catastrophic, risk of business failure and expensive, damaging litigation.

The solution is a consistent, holistic strategy and implementation to protect your business across all of these areas.

If you are unclear about this and what it means for your business, please get in touch. Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!


Licensed to Waste Money?

Over the 20 or so years that we have worked with business owners and senior management of organizations with less that 200 staff we regularly come across the same, repeated concerns facing SME IT management.

In other articles we have illustrated a number of examples of how the small business owner’s lack of knowledge can be an exposure for the business, and we have highlighted the business impacts of dual role/part-time IT management.


Over-Licensing Software To Avoid Under-Licensing Penalties

 

One major recurring issue that we encounter is that most SME organizations generally have very little idea what IT assets they own.

They understand that under-licensing can result in criminal prosecution for the directors, so they continue to buy software, as they are unable to conclusively determine just how many licenses they may have already purchased.

The business impact of their inability to determine just how many licenses they already have means that they are wasting too much money on procuring licenses for software.

This point is well illustrated in a recent study which investigated IT in SMEs and quotes a senior manager of an accounting practice:

“There is no control over what software has been loaded on the PCs… there is often
different versions of all software on all the PCs depending on when they brought them”.


Stop Wasting Money On Unnecessary Licenses!

 

When you know exactly the locations, counts and disposition of all of IT assets, you can plan for equipment obsolescence, replacement and upgrades and instead of buying additional licenses, your existing licenses can, in many cases, be redeployed, thus reducing your overall cost of purchases.

Put simply you can stop wasting money on unnecessary licenses!

We can provide your organization with a cost-effective solution to the visibility, security and utilization of all your IT assets. This lowers IT operating costs and keeps you in control.

We do this via PASR’s Real-time Asset Management platform, whereby we are able to maintain a thorough and accurate real-time inventory of all hardware and software IT assets. The business benefits are that you:

  • Always know exactly what your organization owns.
  • Get accurate snapshots of your company’s hardware and software assets anytime you need them.
  • Consistently have the precise information necessary to make wise decisions.

If you would like to discuss this issue and what it means for your business, please get in touch. Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner
that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!


 

 

 

How Do You Know You Can Recover Your Data?

In our work with business owners and senior management of organizations with less that 200 staff  we regularly come across the same, repeated concerns facing SME IT management. One of the big recurring issues is data recovery from backups.

IT management in SMEs tends to be undertaken by staff who are fulfilling dual roles with IT management as a secondary responsibility to their primary functional role. This is illustrated in a recent study which investigated IT in SMEs quotes a senior manager of an accounting practice:

“It is left to me [as a senior partner] on a day-to-day basis. I am the only one who does backups”.

The challenge here is how a lack of knowledge of best practise can inadvertently put the business at great risk.


The issue

 

Statistics show that 60% of backups are incomplete, and 50% of restores failed.

You may have a back up strategy but  because you do NOT regularly test your strategy you can not be 100% sure you are able to recover your data in the event of a major disaster or loss.

Whilst having a backup strategy is a good first-step, your failure to regularly test your recovery strategy leaves you massively exposed on recovering your business critical data in the event of a crunch.


How long can your business survive without key data?

 

We are asked many times about how and what is required for backup. There are many ways to approach this, and many solutions, but the real factors are not how and what to backup, but rather how long an organisation can operate without their data while it is being restored.

Backups today are generally performed online, with little or no downtime required, but this is not true when it comes to restoring data, which almost always requires systems to be taken offline during the process.

Consider also that depending on the reason a restore is required, new hardware/software may have to be acquired and configured as part of the recovery process.


Key questions

 

When choosing a backup strategy, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long can I afford to be offline if I have to recover data – worst case scenario
    • As this time decreases, costs to implement a viable solution increase exponentially, so choose something realistic.
  • What is my backup protecting me from?
    • Hardware failure is a primary candidate, but don’t forget the possibilities of malware infection, employee acts – both accidental and malicious.
  • What legal/regulatory requirements are there for data retention?
    • Do I just need to recover to the last known good data, or do I need multiple generations spanning weeks, months or years?

Please note the following statistics

 

In considering your answers to the above, please remember:

  • 6% of all PCs will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year (The Cost Of Lost Data, David M. Smith)
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster
  • Almost 3 out of every 100 hard drives fail every year. (Schroeder and Garth)
  • Man-made disasters affect 10% of small businesses. (NFIB National Small Business Poll)
  • 20% of SMEs will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years. (Richmond House Group)
  • Simple drive recovery can cost upwards of S$2,000 and success is not guaranteed

If you would like to discuss this issue and what it means for your business, please get in touch. Since inception in 1996, PASR Technologies has been providing SME business owners with a level of service and support to the SME business owner that is typically only directly available in very large organisations.

Servicing businesses from 10 to up to 200 employees, our clients range from local SMEs through to regional offices of larger MNCs, and include airlines.

At PASR Technologies, we solve your IT problems before you even realize you have one!

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